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Evaluate 2009 payment rates for MA plans

Health plans and providers that hold Medicare Advantage (MA) contracts breathed a sigh of relief in April when the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) disclosed that it will not reduce payments to some MA plans in 2009 to offset increased coding intensity. In its 45-day advance notice of preliminary changes in 2009 payment rates, issued February 22, CMS had proposed to adjust payments to offset the effects of increased coding intensity in approximately 25% of plans whose risk scores are increasing more than twice as fast as Medicare FFS.